Week 5 What to Watch (1 p.m.): Jacksonville Jaguars v Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars v Carolina Panthers. 1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)

This may not be the quarterback match up expected at the beginning of the season, but it may be even better this way. A good old match up of Cat v Cat, lets get right to it.

Jacksonville has kept the boat afloat surprisingly pretty well considering their merry-go-round of issues. From losing Super Bowl Champion quarterback Nick Foles to injury in Week 1, star cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s chaos-causing public trade request, to running back Arnold Fournette’s early struggles this season. The Jaguars have had their circus leaving them 2-2 and 3rd in the NFC South.

Losing Foles on his first season as a Jaguar was an initial heartbreak to the franchise. But enter Gardner Minshew, the rookie who is coming off a two-game win streak with Jacksonville. He seems to have the city on his back with his charisma, capability and mustache to match.

Kyle Allen also has the Carolina Panthers coming in hot after a two-game win streak. Regardless of “Minshew Mania” pulling in the press to him like a supercharged Dyson, Allen actually has a little more experience, and is probably a slightly better quarterback overall. Allen also gets the perk of playing at home this Sunday, making them the favorite this week.

However, this game doesn’t solely lie on the quarterback’s shoulders (or arms), it’s equally a head-to-head for the running backs. Panthers’ Fournette was the 4th overall pick in the 2017 draft. Jaguars’ Christian McCaffery was the 8th overall pick the same year, he was also the NFC offensive player of the month in September.

Carolina pass-defense has also been a silent killer this season, ranking 4th in in the NFL. Where Jacksonville could edge forward is Carolina’s weak rush-defense, 24th in the NFL.

ODDS:

  • Spread: -3.5 Carolina
  • Over/Under: 41
  • Prediction: 24-21 Carolina

The Panthers playing at home this week gives them a big advantage, as we’ve seen Minshew’s inexperience makes him scramble when he’s away. This won’t be a blow-out on either end. The winner will have to prosper in many factors of the game, and probably heavy action in the 4th quarter. Although 10 of the 13 games this weekend are in the 1pm slot, this is the sneaky game you don’t want to miss.

Photo Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

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